Back Away from McNugget in Your Fifties Chevy Pick-Up

In the fifties we never dreamed food would be replaced with manufactured “parts,” then too, we never knew that GMO – genetically engineered food would be promising to make more food available and subsequently make food more scarce.  Sure we had processed foods but there was enough of the original peanut in Skippy, or cheese in Cheese Whiz, or cake in Twinkies to keep us satisfied until we sat down to a real meat and potatoes dinner.
'50's Chevy Pick-Up

I received an email today from a great friend and she’s bursting to get this news out to everyone.  I agreed and she promised to let me help her build a blog this coming week so you’ll be able to get current information and warnings about what you’re eating out.  Here’s what she sent me.

Fast Food…??? Yuk

Hello Nicole….

I was just about to go to Google and this popped up on my screen
I think  the MSN site…

Not that I eat this “S…” and I’m sure your family doesn’t…. no wonder obesity is becoming a plague of the young, not so young and old. And illness of all kinds

is on the rise.  How did people become so ignorant???

What a world.. I’m glad I have friends like you and some others in my life that “know” what’s really going out there in the science labs ..known as the

world… at large.

Otherwise.. I would think I am going crazy…

Bye Have a great day!!!

Sonny

What’s Really in Your Food?

Learn the truth about these four fast-food favorites.

By David Zinczenko & Matt Goulding, Men’s Health

Ever wonder what’s actually in a McDonald’s Chicken McNugget? Turns out, the “chicken” alone contains seven ingredients. And that’s before you even get to the breading. Sadly, many of our favorite foods (especially fast foods) weren’t merely crafted in kitchens, they were also designed and perfected in labs. We uncovered the ugly truth when doing research for Eat This, Not That! Restaurant Survival Guide. What we found wasn’t pretty—or appetizing. Before you mindlessly chew your way through another value meal, take these mini-mysteries (conveniently solved below) into account. Sometimes the truth is tough to swallow.

What’s in a Chicken McNugget?

You’d think that a breaded lump of chicken would be pretty simple. Mostly, it would contain bread and chicken. But the McNugget and its peers at other fast-food restaurants are much more complicated creatures than that. The “meat” in the McNugget alone contains seven ingredients, some of which are made up of yet more ingredients. (Nope, it’s not just chicken. It’s also such nonchicken-related stuff as water, wheat starch, dextrose, safflower oil, and sodium phosphates.) The “meat” also contains something called “autolyzed yeast extract.” Then add another 20 ingredients that make up the breading, and you have the industrial chemical—we mean, fast-food meal—called the McNugget. Still, McDonald’s is practically all-natural compared to Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets, with 30 ingredients, and Burger King Chicken Fries, with a whopping 35 ingredients.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Don’t Think Small-Think Big: The Biggest War is Yet to be Fought!

"Monsanto's Seeds of Distinction will Cause Our Extinction"

Genetically Engineered GMO seeds and foods have been a source of misery for my soul for a very long time.

But even if the GE-seeds did deliver what was promised, the real problem with them are the patents they come with. “The biotech companies are monopolizing seeds themselves, actually privatizing the DNA of life.  They sell the GE-seeds at many times the price of normal seeds.  In India, where Bt-cotton farmers have been committing suicide in huge numbers because of debt, Monsanto sells Bt-cotton seed at 1000% higher than normal seeds”.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousands-Indian-farmers-committing-suicide-using-genetically-modified-crops.html.

Please check out this short and direct explanation of how Monsanto is Round-ing up alfalfa and systematically eliminating each individual’s right to choose between conventional and organic foods.  Alfalfa is a main source of cattle feed and as this GMO mutant rapidly pollutes organic fields people who are fearful of, “mad cow disease” will no longer have the option to buy organic beef. Three comments (and ‘Moi’) follow this post at the link below and they contain excellent information.

http://dcprogressive.org/2010/01/25/food-reg/

Do we want to find our hands bound by losing ownership to the seeds of life?  Will we tolerate one publicly traded company to control whether or not we’ll eat, how much we’ll eat, how much we’ll pay to eat, and whether our grandchildren and beyond live or die because just maybe the GMO experiment fails because its mutations even to date cannot be controlled or predicted.

Read:  Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

Oryx and Crake explores developments in science and technology.  This society, which not only tolerates but promotes such extreme commercialization and commodification of life, has also produced an exacerbated gap between rich and poor, as well as the commodification of human life and sexuality. Oryx and Crake does not depend on imagining new scientific or technological discoveries; the novel merely extrapolates on the basis of technologies that are, in principle, available today and carries current social and economic developments and their attendant ethical choices to their radical conclusions.”   (Wikipedia)

I seldom post an alert for my viewers yet I believe the underbelly of Monsanto needs to be exposed as the out-growth of impending catastrophe gains momentum.  Shun GMO products and let your circle of influence know about Monsanto’s determination to become the one-party ruler creating the world’s monstrous reign of terror and domination.

Thank you all for making February my best month since I began blogging last year in mid-November.  XXOO   My family’s happy: less harping, more blogging.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

CONFIDENTIAL: Unlocking the Secret of Perfect Pumpkin Pie


Many pumpkin pies suffer from soggy crusts.  The secret to making this pie is to cook the filling separately from the crust.  Once both are done the filling can be slipped into the crust and piped with whipped cream around the edge.  The result is professional and the crust is light and  flaky.  It’s as easy as pie.

Prepare your favorite pastry and roll it out to 12 inches.  Lay it in a 9 inch pan and fold the extra over to make a thick scalloped edge. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes and preheat the oven. Prick the surface of the unbaked shell evenly to prevent it from puffing up.  Bake until golden and cool completely on a wire rack.

I hate to admit it, but the secrets are being uncloaked, and I have often bought a frozen pie shell and used it for fillings…ssshhhh!

Set Oven to 350 degrees F. and generously butter the inside of a 9 inch pie plate.

Filling

2 cups canned pumpkin

3/4 cup light brown sugar – packed

5 eggs

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

a pinch (generous 1/4 teaspoon) salt

1 cup heavy cream

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a rotary beater until smooth.

Set the empty pie plate into the center of a large shallow pan and then slowly pour the filling into the pie plate.

Set this on the oven rack and pour water into the shallow pan to measure 1/2 inch deep.

Bake for 50 minutes  Insert a knife near the center.  If the filling is done the knife will come out clean.

Completely cool on a wire rack and then loosen edge with spatula.

Chill for minimum 4 hours or overnight.

Several hours before serving loosen custard all around edges and underneath with a spatula and shake to loosen.

Slip filling into piecrust and pipe a generous circle of sweetened whipped cream around the space left between the filling and the crust.

Top with 8 walnut halves set evenly around the whipped cream.

Refrigerate  (covered).  Makes 8 delicious servings of flaky crust and creamy custard filling.


Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Leave the Store Bleeding

Listening to jazz and a woman’s clear voice belting out, “Breakin’ rocks on the chain gang…I still have so far to go…I’m goin’ a break this chain off and run…”

Running Dialogue with My Journal, August 31st, 2008.

Food is becoming a political volleyball. Organics are rising in popularity by 16% – 20% every year.  The “system,” dependent on sprays and chemicals, is fearing a systematic loss of revenue.

Articles “slamming” organics as “unethical” and “privileged” are leaking into the media. Now the detractors are using an argument based on organic and sustainable farming taking up 20% – 45% too much land.  Land that could produce higher yields with engineered foods.

A quarter of a century of eating organically and our family is fit and fine and doctor-free.

Is it possible we don’t have to super-size our crops if we can teach the mainstream not to overeat; obesity is one of our main problems: a direct link to chronic illness.

Maybe there would be more space to farm if:

  • farmland wasn’t being sold to high density development
  • yards were still part of our homes and we could have gardens and fruit trees
  • if beef wasn’t consumed

When we eat organically we consume small portions because the color, taste and texture of organically produced foods is so rich and satisfying.  We stay healthy and slimmer.  We stop draining the dollars out of the national budget for medical treatment.

Nature is natural; science is costly.

I break for Yoga Class where our teacher, Corrie, reads a passage on compassion and it confirms that you even have to have some for yourself.

I would feel so liberated if I could drop my concerns over every environmental and political prod.  The papers are so full of man-made problems it’s disgusting – see, there I go again: my head filled up.  We live in Utopia (there’s no visible guns). We have everything to be thankful for yet nothing is ever enough.

“Breakin’ rocks on a chain gang…I’m goin’ a break this chain off and run…”

"Single Serving of Appetizer = NO (not organic)"

WHY WE ARE FAT !!

We used to believe the world was flat but now we know better.  Now we know the world is fat, not flat.  Statistics show we are  getting fatter annually, and consequently we are getting unhealthier and greatly susceptible to numerous diseases triggered by obesity.  Here is a list of some of the conditions that can be attributed to obesity:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Cancer
  3. Erectile Dysfunction
  4. Hernia
  5. Depression
  6. Gout
  7. Gallbladder Disease
  8. Osteoarthritis
  9. Congestive Heart Failure
  10. Urinary Incontinence
  11. Stroke

Many of these conditions can be fatal.  It’s no longer a matter of how we look, it has more to do with medical problems and serious illnesses occurring from excess overweight carried around for long periods of time. According to the U.S. Surgeon General report, obesity is responsible for 300,000 deaths every year in the U.S.  The National Center for Health statistics estimates that sixty three percent of Americans are overweight.

The link below is today’s Story from the star.com  The real enemy?  It begins: “As a recession looms and junk profits boom, a study sheds new light on what makes us fat.

http://www.thestar.com/news/ideas/article/537391–the-real-enemy-corn

This was not my topic today but I came across it by following links in a post early on and I was fascinated and disgusted by what I was reading.  The article is so thoroughly well written and so important that I sent it to my circle of influence and that includes my readers here on wordpress.

One of the sites on my Blogroll is: Good Guide (see link below).  It’s here that you can read about food deception risks and how this is compounded by insufficient and/or incomplete labeling.  Good Guide is a comprehensive and award-winning “wellness” venue.  They are contributors to, The New York Times, Oprah, and Time magazine, to name a few.

http://www.goodguide.com

Once we are aware of the dangers in certain brands of food or types of food it makes it so much easier to sidestep them and choose non-gmo, organic, for supreme health and well-being.

There are excellent tips on both links to help you stay healthy affordably.

Signing off:  I’m on my way to the kitchen to make some delicate little pancakes with organic eggs, almond butter, and bananas. That’s it!  So easy and delicious.   Contact me at nicolerigets@gmail.com  if you want the recipe or leave a comment.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

‘Honest-Al’ Capone Cannelloni

Invented in 1907.  Cannelloni means “big reeds” in Italian.

Sauce

1/3 cup olive oil

1 + 1/2 cups well chopped onion

1 medium clove garlic crushed

1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste

1 – 2 lb. 3 oz. can Italian plum tomatoes undrained

3 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Saute onion and garlic in hot oil for 5 minutes. Add 1 + 1/2 cups water and mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Break  tomatoes up well with a fork. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer covered for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Cannelloni Shells

6 eggs at room temperature

1 + 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl combine the eggs with the flour, salt, and 1 + 1/2 cups water.  Using an electric mixer at a low speed beat the batter just until smooth and well mixed: DO NOT make it frothy.  Let stand for a half hour or longer.  The process of making the cannelloni is like making a crepe.  Slowly heat an 8 inch non-stick frying pan. If you choose to use a regular pan oil it from time to time.  Pour in a few tablespoons of batter, rotating the pan quickly to spread the batter evenly over the bottom.  Cook over medium heat until the top is dry but the bottom IS NOT brown.  Set on a wire rack to cool.  Continue cooking and as these cool stack them between sheets of wax paper to prevent them from sticking together.

Cheese Filling

2 lb. Ricotta cheese

8 oz. Mozzarella cheese diced

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white (or black) pepper

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Beat with a wooden spoon to blend well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take a cannelloni shell and spread about 1/4 cup cheese filling down the center.  Roll it up with the seam side down.

Next spread 1 + 1/2 cups of sauce into each of two 12 x 8 x 2 inch baking dishes or pans. Place 8 rolled cannelloni with the seam side down into the bottom of each pan. Divide the remaining cannelloni between the 2 pans and center them along the top of the 8 that are already in place. Over the contents of each pan, drizzle 1 cup of sauce along the cannelloni shells and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan on top of it all before baking .

Bake uncovered for 1/2 hour or until bubbly.

Six servings per pan.

These are tender, delicate, and delicious. Perfect for a party because the cannelloni “shells” and sauce can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Note:  Black surfaced non-stick cookware has been proven to be extremely harmful to the body.  There are a number of healthier choices available in the marketplace.

Copyright © 2009 Nicole Rigets

50-Year Old Recipe for Golden Pancakes

This recipe has been in regular use in our family for over fifty years.

The recipe was a gift from an outside source and recorded in pen and ink on a piece of plain white paper. Originally it was taped inside the hard back cover of a very thick old-fashioned cookbook. With age the scotch tape turned amber, and eventually dried, setting the paper free.  After this, the little paper heirloom was securely put away  inside a small wooden box that had been decorated on the outside with dried flowers held in place behind glass. Letters spelling out the word, ‘Recipes’, were stenciled on top of the box, and it was passed along to a younger member of the family, with a copy of the pancake recipe reprinted on a colorful index card inside.

The original piece of paper now resides between treasured others in a soft little pile behind cabinet doors awaiting a new and thoughtful location.  Until then, it is my pleasure to share this heirloom recipe with my viewers!

Sift dry ingredients

Flour     10 ounces

Sugar     4 tablespoons

Baking Powder     2 teaspoons

Salt     1/2 teaspoon

Combine wet ingredients

Milk     10 ounces

Eggs     1 (beaten)

Vanilla     1/4 teaspoon

Butter     2 ounces (melted)

Add dry ingredients to wet and fold all together gently with a wooden spoon until combined (about 8-12 times).  Do not beat or over-mix – combining the ingredients must be done cautiously following the same technique used to mix muffin batter.

Pour onto a buttered griddle or frying pan (medium-low heat), to make each one about 8″ in diameter.  Little holes form on the surface and when the gloss disappears the pancake should be turned.  They should be light-medium golden brown.  Soft butter and a little authentic maple syrup makes a perfect topping for them.

Copyright © 2009 Nicole Rigets

Christmas Listless

I have completed my shopping list, as short as it was.  Definitely less than one-third of a block long.  The reason it’s so compact is that everyone is going out-of-town to other destinations for Christmas.

2009 has been loaded with zigs and zags, hidden triggers, loops and twists, culminating in a rocky ride to a year end leaving me in a current state of listlessness. Never at a loss for new avenues to drive my interests I came upon ‘14,000 things to be happy about’ on the top shelf of my bookcase.  Published in 1990, The Happy Book by Barbara Ann Kipfer, represented in her words, “20 years of recording all the little things that make me happy”. I have always treasured this book for its author’s word-pictures – “…purchasing a yard of lavender ribbon to tie up poems…red plaid lunch boxes…renting a winter house…dart boards…color film…getting lost on purpose when you were little…”

Written as one continuous list, I tend to lose myself in the act and art of memory recall. Kipfer can make me giggle and sniffle with nostalgia, and more.  To quote the author, “Words, and the images they create, can be a great source of pleasure and inspiration”.  It is with this in mind I remember to be grateful for all that I’ve had and have. Kipfer asks that we take our time to wish, reminisce, and dream, as we read through the pages.  I’ve followed her advice and never made any attempt to rush my way through to the end. In the soon-to-be 20 years that I have held a special place in my heart for this unforgettable book I confess I still have the final page to look forward to! Reviewed as “quirky, compulsive, and irresistible,” it includes 125 little illustrations.

Copyright © 2009 Nicole Rigets

Frogs, Ribbons, and Laces – A Christmas Twist!

December is now glowing with goodwill and ornamentation, colored lights and laughter.

The Christmas holidays offer a time to twist tradition and venture into new avenues.

The 20 Days of Christmas have arrived and I wish for you the gift of inspiration.

Here is my list of 20 ways I want to bring joy, color, and beauty into my life throughout this magnificent season and I’d like to share it with you:

  • Gardenia Scented Powder

Place fresh gardenias into a pint container and add organic cornstarch to fill.  Shake 3 or 4 times daily.  Replace the flowers every other day until the powder reaches the scent you desire.  Use after a bath to smooth and perfume the skin.

  • Somewhere I read an old china cabinet can be used as a dollhouse.  Wouldn’t this make a fabulous focal point in a young girl’s room!
  • Read Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s Book:  poemcrazy and take the time to go on a ‘Poem Walk’.
  • Try Alexandra Stoddard’s interior design tip:  mix 7 different colors of towels in your bathroom.  My choice:  nomad grey, black, soft white, mint green, raspberry, lemon, and leaf green.
  • Make a donation to PADS – Pacific Assistance Dogs.  PADS raises and trains service, hearing, and facility/therapy dogs for persons who are facing the daily challenges of life with a physical disability.  Visit  them online at:  www.pads.ca   You’ll find lots of ideas to help you give someone you love the perfect “something” while giving a gift of independence at the same time.
  • Start the 1st page of your Journal and if you don’t have a journal yet ask ‘Santa’ to bring you one.  My choice: Clairefontaine – Made in France, the satiny pages are a dream to write on, and they are available in many stationary stores.  Visit them online at www.clairefontaine.com and check out the fantastic covers and colors to choose from.
  • Kiss your husband and call him a ‘Frog’.
  • Read Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, and start doing your “Morning Pages”. This daily exercise provides a powerful habit for personal growth.
  • Weave ribbons and laces into a table runner or a wall-hanging.
  • Walk up a steep hill backwards (Chinese good therapy).
  • Purchase a harmonica and play music to your plants.
  • Pick up small sticks from the seashore and color them with pencil crayons.  Cut words from magazines and glue a word or message on the back of each stick.  I call these “Seasticks” and serve them on a saucer beside a cup of tea.
  • Take a pottery class and make beads and tiny dishes to hold them.
  • Play Greek Music and accompany it with a glass of Ouzo.  Dance like Zorba.
  • Mumble to large sweet blackberrries.
  • Read, Mauve; How One Man Invented a Color that Changed the World, by Simon Garfield.  This man’s success was in finding how to make color from coal. Search for the good in your failures and think of the times you’ve made color from coal.
  • Play at what you do from now to Christmas Day.
  • Make every day precious and worthwhile by using your unique gifts and aesthetic. Eric Booth explains how to do this in his book, The Everyday Work of Art.
  • Splurge on the weekend edition of the New York Times newspaper and spread it out all over the livingroom.  Add coffee, music, toasted bagels with butter, cream cheese and jam, your pet, a wooly cardigan and socks, and voila!  Over doing would be to light the fireplace…but, it has been done.
  • If all else fails please join me in knitting a pair of false eyelashes for New Year’s Eve.

Copyright © 2009 Nicole Rigets

1963 – The Taylor-Burton’s go organic!

2 + 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup walnuts – chopped

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

generous 1 /3 cup pumpkin seeds

Mix all these in a bowl and in a separate bowl mix up:

1/4 cup sunflower oil

2 tablespoons cold water

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine wet and dry ingredients and  bake in a flat pan at 250 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes

Stir 2-3 times while baking

Let cool and add:

1/2 cup currants

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Store in airtight container in freezer